House Speaker John Boehner (R - Ohio) has called on the US government to review its trade relationship with Russia, and consider wielding its influence in Russian WTO accession talks to achieve an acceptable compromise for Georgia.

“Russia is eyeing, with the Administration’s assistance, entry into the World Trade Organization. This would require Congress to approve permanent normal trade relations. There are, however, significant outstanding commercial issues which must be addressed,” Boehner said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation.

Georgia has maintained, despite significant international pressure, that it will block Russia's bid unless it agrees to numerous demands, particularly that the Georgia-Russia trade border be subject to independent oversight.

Boehner said: “I’ve seen alarming reports that the Administration is leaning on Georgia to acquiesce, even though doing so would likely normalize the boundaries of Russian occupation on Georgian soil. In other words, the United States won’t pressure Russia for a return to pre-2008 borders. The Administration should resolve this stalemate in a manner that respects the territorial integrity of Georgia. Then – and only then – will movement on the WTO question be worth considering,” he underscored.

Boehner's comments come after those of two US senators, Roy Blunt (R - Missouri) and James Inhofe (R - Oklahoma) said that the United States should back its ally Georgia if the country seeks to defer Russia's accession into 2012 to achieve a compromise.

October 27, 2011

Source: Tax News